Where Can I Find a Social Worker, Case Manager, or Advocate to Help Me?
Per Chron, “according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers help individuals and families cope with and manage a variety of life issues that are causing difficulty or distress. In addition, some social workers are licensed to provide mental health services and therapy.” Also, per the same organization, “case managers are social service workers who coordinate care for their clients. Case managers work with agencies and institutions to ensure that clients get the care they need.” Case managers aren’t required to have professional licensures or certifications, although some do.
How do we go about finding these professional advocates to help us?
- Area Agency on Aging and Elder Care Locator provides information about the possible availability of such services and supports
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides Employment Development Counselors/Social Workers for recipients of welfare services.
- Veterans Administration
- Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
- County mental health/behavioral health and recovery services may offer case management to those who have mental health and/or substance use concerns
- Schools and universities often have social workers, case managers, counselors, and disability, mental health, employment, and other supportive service workers
- Hospitals, health clinics, and skilled rehabilitation/nursing facilities often have social workers, case managers, and discharge personnel to assist patients with a variety of needs
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman serves older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities
- Centers for Independent Living have staff to help those who are aging and/or who have disabilities connect to services and supports
- Community Action Agencies often have programs that offer case managers and may be contacted to determine if they have or can recommend case management, advocates, or other supportive service professionals
- Home Care Programs offered through Medicaid or Medicare may be able to offer a social worker to help with issues related to the program
- State Home Care Programs may offer someone to be paid to care for someone in the home
- Disability Advocacy Programs, such as those available through the Regional Center
- Centers for Independent Living
- Home Health, Hospice, and Palliative Care Programs
- Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) (in California)
- Legal Aid Programs
- Homeless service agencies
- Housing support programs that specialize in helping those with behavioral health and substance use issues and homelessness
- SOAR assists people who usually have a mental health diagnosis and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, with their Social Security disability applications.
- Social Service Programs
- Children and Family Services (Child Protective Services)
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Employment Support programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Department of Rehabilitation
- Probation and Parole Officers
- Ask a health insurance company if they provide nurse coordinators or case managers
- Affordable Housing Programs
Examples: Housing Authority housing case managers for HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, VA-VASH, Shelter Plus Care Housing Program, and other HUD housing programs
- Resident Service Coordinators at older adult housing complexes, group homes or other housing communities
- Jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers
Other Helpful Resources:
How to Get On also has helpful information about how to get a social worker, and a lot of valuable information about how to have a great, disabled life.